Internet influences, traffic have increased

Internet influences in manufacturing began with information delivery via e-mail, web sites, and customized Intranets. This information has aggregated—into portals, organizations, and wider communities—to accompany commerce, bidding, and other Internet-based transactions. Internet-based services have expanded to include search engines, marketplaces, make-to-order capabilities, ...

09/01/2000


Internet influences in manufacturing began with information delivery via e-mail, web sites, and customized Intranets. This information has aggregated—into portals, organizations, and wider communities—to accompany commerce, bidding, and other Internet-based transactions.

Internet-based services have expanded to include search engines, marketplaces, make-to-order capabilities, customer service, hosted services, requests for quotes and proposals, product configuration, and training.

A few enterprises have fully integrated the supply chain: sensor through networks, control logic, human-machine interface, and the plant floor, across departments, the enterprise, suppliers, and customers. Such a "virtual supply-chain network"—a term used by Cahners Business Information's In-Stat Group (Newton, Mass.)—has potential to link numerous disparate work environments, creating greater efficiencies.

A recent In-Stat study says $823 billion will go through virtual supply-chain networks by year 2004, up from $43.4 million in 2000. Virtual supply-chain participation will grow to approximately 280,000 by 2004, up from 25,000 businesses today, according to Cahners In-Stat's report, "Virtual Supply Chain Integration: The Future of Participation in Online Supply Chains."

Trends pushing the moves toward greater information integration include the need to produce more products, at a higher quality, at a lower cost, globally, and customized. At the same time, manufacturers are seeking ways to preserve software code, unify or reduce numbers of software platforms, and simplify training.

Multiple networking organizations are offering Ethernet connections. Manufacturers have been enabling their products to use Ethernet and related software, as they have with industrial networks.

Ultimately, Internet tools should enhance what we should be doing anyway:

  • Empowering personnel to do a better job through information sharing and integration;

  • Eliminating duplicative information, effort, transactions, and associated costs;

  • Delivering clear, concise, accurate information, as soon as possible, where and how it's needed; and

  • Increasing the ability to relate to coworkers, vendors, and suppliers in ways they understand.

For more information about the In-Stat study, "Virtual Supply Chain Integration: The Future of Participation in Online Supply Chains," visit www.instat.com ; or visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .



Growth in information delivery

Control Engineering Online has seen a 440% traffic increase over 2.5 years; more than 1,500 control engineering professionals visit Control Engineering Online daily (as of June 2000).

Monthly visits to the site have increased from an average of 11,790 in 1998 to 21,982 in 1999 to 32,109 in 2000, through June. Traffic on the Internet is increasing generally; with the increases attributed to links with other useful sites, references in Control Engineering print products and e-mailed newsletters, and to editors' creating or editing nearly 500 new items during September 1999 through June 2000 at

Online resources include:

Control Engineering Online (

Control Engineering Buyer's Guide (

Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide (

Manufacturing.Net (

Cahners Business Information (

Reed Elsevier (

Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief of Control Engineering and Control Engineering Online , related these and other observations about "Internet Influence on Manufacturing and You," the keynote presentation for the PTO General Assembly Meeting 2000, held Aug. 2 and 3, in Scottsdale, Ariz.



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